New(ish) mum Samantha Dooey-Miles is charting her life in doodles. This week, she’s up, up and away and everything is just fine.
I’m about to tell you a tale of good fortune. One I had no idea could happen to me. Sadly it’s not about a £90m Euromillions jackpot. Instead, it’s a story about how flying with a small child is really not the nightmare you fear it will be.
Planes, I think we’ll agree, are the opposite of normal life. In aeroplanes we are miles and miles in the sky and told to stay in our seats at all times. In normal life we are free to roam where we choose, are held to the earth by lovely gravity and would refuse to pay six pounds for a minuscule gin and tonic.
It makes sense then, that when you bring a small child onto a plane, instead of strangers wanting to coo over their cute chubby cheeks as they would on the ground, they now glare, trying to scowl your baby into being silent and out of their sight for the duration of the flight.
Due to living in a different country to my family, I have become a frequent flyer over the past seven years. By extension, in the 18 months my daughter has been alive, I have made her go on a lot of planes.
Each and every time we board I find myself getting into ‘the mood’. The mood is one you will be familiar with whether you have children or not. It is the same mood you enter into when you are determined to have an argument with your partner. The one where you are ready to snap, but need them to commit one small wrong for you to be justified in losing your temper. You know, that one: the mood.
I get on every plane in the mood, ready for the moment someone decides to make a comment about any slight noise my child might make. I’ve been through scenarios in my head and prepared my arguments.
These include: that she is no noisier than most of the people on the plane; that I have to pay tax on top of my ticket price for her to get the pleasure of awkwardly sitting on my lap for the entire journey, so in my opinion she’s entitled to bitch and moan, and then there’s the fact she doesn’t understand what a plane is – imagine what it’s like to be thrust into the air with no idea of what is happening.
It’s a shame I’ve dedicated so much thought to these arguments, I’ve never had to utter a word of them to anyone out loud. Air hostesses greet us onto the plane with smiles and pay my daughter lots of attention. People in the same row as us offer up window seats or aisle seats – whatever we want – because they want the baby to be comfortable.
When she occasionally gets grumpy, no one says a word. At worst they bury their head deeper into their newspaper or turn up the volume on the music they’re listening to.
So while I can’t buy my own private jet in this story of good luck, I can sit on a Ryanair flight and not feel like everyone else on the plane hates me.
See Samantha’s previous doodles here.4009 Views
Sam is a first-time mum doodling and blogging her way through teething, nappies and the constant struggle of never quite being sure whether she lives in Essex or London. Find her blog at anewessexgirl.com.